Joseph Morgan is the proverbial big fish in the small pond of Overton, Colorado. He has power and he wants more. His youngest son is police chief by Joseph’s decree and now Jack is running for county commissioner. Vegetarian rancher, Frank Jarret is running against him. Chief Jack Morgan receives an order from his father to discredit Frank shortly before the election. Frank is in Durango on business when Jack Morgan takes several deputies to Frank’s Lazy J ranch with the intention of planting two kilos of cocaine there. Instead, Jack claims that Emily Jarret produced a gun and he began firing. This excites the deputies to open fire as well. When the smoke clears, Emily and daughter, Katy, are dead. Two years later, Jack Morgan, in hiding under an alias, is found dead in his rare book store. Two of the deputies involved are found dead, Frank Jarret has vanished and the new police chief, Marcia Williams, must find the killer.
The Seventh Stage is a brilliantly executed crime story. The pace develops the suspense in a highly polished way. All characters are artfully fleshed and the scene shifts elevate the tension. Mr. Nichols’ prose flows smoothly as does his dialogue. A skillful eye renders the settings so that the stark beauty of southwestern Colorado is alive on the pages. The reader will not guess the outcome as the lady police chief traces her leads. This reader strongly recommends The Seventh Stage.
The Seventh Stage is currently unavailable at Amazon. I got my copy from the author. When it becomes available, it's a must read.